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Award-winning film producer visits Reading College and University Centre

Media students welcomed Academy and BAFTA Award-winning Producer Gareth Ellis-Unwin to Reading College and University Centre on Monday 11 March. 


Gareth who is the CEO of the Bedlam Film Productions, who have produced films including The King’s Speech, Exam, Zaytoun and Kajaki, spoke about his education, early career in the media, what led him to setup Bedlam Film Productions and the films they have produced. At the end of his talk, he answered questions from students and staff.  


Bedlam Film Productions are one of the partners of Screen Berkshire (alongside Shinfield Studios, Resource Productions, the University of Reading and Berkshire Film Office, who represent Wokingham, Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead, Bracknell Forest, West Berkshire and Reading councils). Screen Berkshire (the BFI Berkshire Skills for Screen Cluster) is an example of the Skills Clusters who are part of the BFI’s nationwide strategy to support screen sector skills development across the nations and regions to aid the expansion of the UK’s screen production industry.  


Gareth Ellis-Unwin, CEO of Bedlam Film Productions, said: “I always really enjoy getting out to the colleges and universities that are teaching media programmes because it’s really important to break down the barriers where students think that maybe the opportunity isn’t there for them.  


“I’m from Berkshire, I grew up and went to school round here and I want them to carry a level of self-belief that the things I’ve achieved can also potentially be there for them with the appropriate amount of work and effort. 


“It’s important to recognise that Berkshire is really on the map in terms of media production. The arrival of Shinfield Studios, Winnersh and other spaces mean that we have a high demand for media professionals in the locality and Reading College and University Centre and other educational institutions have an essential role to play in terms of delivering the next generation of media professionals who are going to be working on the stages, locally.” 


Alex Deacon, 18, from Reading, is studying a Creative Media Production Level 3 Extended Diploma at Reading College and University Centre.   


He said: “It was great. Being able to ask him questions about the industry and how he came into it was really good and inspirational to us as creators. 


“I think it’s put me on a more certain path, I’m still going to look at other options, but I’ve always loved looking into producing and it was great to see what he does and his explanation as to how he got there. 


“If I could follow in his footsteps in the path like he’s done as I’m not going to go to university, that would be amazing.”    


Sean Daniels, Media Teacher at Activate Learning, said: “It was incredible to welcome Gareth Ellis-Unwin to Reading College and University Centre. 


“We’re so lucky to get someone of Gareth’s stature, who’s not only achieved what he’s achieved but is local and has done it the way that he’s done it.  


“It’s really helpful and inspiring for our students to see someone who’s managed to make it through to the industry without needing to go to university, without knowing people in the industry to begin with, just doing it through hard work.  


“Showing the students that they can do that is really important, as maybe half of our students will apply for and go to university, the rest are looking for an apprenticeship or work in the industry.”  

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